Christmas: Illegal revenue collectors, touts extort, assault holiday makers, traders in Anambra

Christmas: Illegal revenue collectors, touts extort, assault holiday makers, traders in Anambra

By James Okafor, Onitsha

Holiday makers and travellers who pass through Onitsha and environs, Anambra State, have continued to experience extortion, assault and harassment by illegal revenue collectors and touts who have reportedly returned to the state after their sack by Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo.

Condemning the illegal activities of the duo, traders in the State under the aegis of Concerned Anambra Traders' Association, led by Chief Gabriel Okeke, accused the State Government of allowing them to return to their illegal duty posts after their sack.

"These touts and illegal revenue collectors openly station themselves in some flash points that include, Upper Iweka axis, Bida road, Nkpor junction/St Anthony church Old road, Owerri road, Iweka/down flyover, Ugwu Nwasike junction, building material market, Bridge head approach, among others, and they operate without fear of challenge or arrest because they have the backing of some faceless government functionaries.

"The Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders' Association, ASMATA, Caretaker Committee, headed by Chief Humphrey Anuna, should be dissolved for not living up to the expectation of the residents of the State. The members of the committee composed mostly non traders but politicians from PDP, APC, LP, and APGA, who have nothing tangible that they do for living, nor shops in markets where they claim to belong.

"If they are genuine traders they would have stopped the illegal extortion, assault, harassment and other inhuman treatment being meted out to traders, travellers, holiday makers and others, especially at this yuletide season.

"Their names were compiled by the ASMATA PG and allegedly forwarded to the State Government by a former chairman of Onitsha North Local Government Area, Hon. Everest Uba, who is a manufacturer but claims to know about market affairs and leadership.

"The ASMATA PG who claimed to be a former chairman of Amalgamated Tyre Dealers Association, ATDA, presently has no shop/ware house at the said ATDA and has nothing tangible that he was doing prior to his appointment as the ASMATA PG. 

"Instead of ensuring that the markets prosper, he rather brings back those market leaders sacked by the State Government over flawed elections in their different markets, to work with them at the detriment of the genuine traders", the concerned traders stated further.

They however, urged the traders not to be deterred by the antics of the ASMATA leadership pointing out that in 2023, the State Government would realize its mistake and correct it.

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